2018 Fantasy Football: Former Notre Dame Fighting Irish Player Outlooks

Senior Expert Shawn Childs breaks down the Fantasy Football potential of the best Notre Dame Fighting Irish players now in the National Football League
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Are you a Notre Dame fan? Fortunately, not only does FullTime Fantasy Sports provide NFL team specific outlooks, but we also produce content for all you College Football fans following your favorite players from your favorite school!

Senior Fantasy Football Expert Shawn Childs breaks down and forecasts the top players from the biggest colleges in the nation! In this edition, he takes a look at Golden Tate, Kyle Rudolph, Will Fuller and many more of your favorite Notre Dame players! Stay tuned for more College Football Player Breakdowns!

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WR Golden Tate– It’s easy to overlook Tate as top WR2 due to his weakness in TDs (24) over his last 80 games. Since arriving in Detroit, Golden averaged 93 catches for 1,056 yards and five TDs per season with his best success coming in 2014 (99/1331/4) when Calvin Johnson was still on the roster, and the Lions threw the ball 650 times a year. He had a great four-game run from Week 6 to Week 10 (27/392/2) with two other strong games (10/107, 8/85/1, and 7/104/1). A shoulder injury in late October appeared to be serious, but Tate was able to play through the injury. Last year the WRs in Detroit caught 211 passes for 2,928 yards and 16 TDs on 334 targets. Matt Stafford will throw plenty of balls to the WR position with more targets expected with the TE position looking to have a drop down in talent. Possible 100+ catches for 1,100 yards and a handful of TDs.

TE Kyle Rudolph – After a breakout Fantasy season in 2016 (83/84/7 on 132 targets) with Sam Bradfordbehind center, Rudolph had a dull 2017 (57/532) except his eight TDs. His targets (81) dropped by 38 percent. Kyle only had ten catches for 109 yards and one TDs on 15 targets over his first four games. Over his next six games, Rudolph caught 32 of his 46 targets for 257 yards and two TDs before fading again over his last six games (15/166/5 on 20 targets). A late-season ankle injury required surgery after the season. Kirk Cousinslike to throw to the TE position, but Kyle will only be the third option in the passing game behind the top two WRs. I’ll set his bar at 65 catches for 650+ yards and respectable TDs, which paints him as a back-end TE1 in PPR leagues.

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WR Will Fuller – Over his last two season at Notre Dame, Fuller caught 138 passes for 2,352 yards and 29 TDs. Will offers upside in his route running while owning impact speed (4.32 forty). His lack of size (6’0” and 186 Lbs.) and strength (ten reps at the NFL combine in the bench press in 2016), which will limit his opportunity in the middle of the field. Fuller doesn’t look like a pure hands catcher leading to some drops when faced with tighter coverage and bigger hits in the NFL. Over the first two seasons in the NFL, Fuller missed eight games. After breaking his collarbone in early August in 2017, Will sat out the first three games. When he returned to the lineup with Deshaun Watson behind center, Fuller was a scoring machine in his first four games (seven TDs). Over this span, he caught 13 of his 22 targets for 279 yards with six of his catches gaining 20 yards or more. Will struggled after the injury to Watson (15/144 on 28 targets) while missing another three games with a rib injury. His season ended with a minor knee issue that required surgery in January. A fun player who fits well in the Houston system in the deep passing while also offering scoring value in the red zone on crossing patterns. Built to catch 65+ balls for 1,000 yards with sneaky value in TDs, but Fuller needs to prove he can stay healthy.

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TE Tyler Eifert – Over the last four seasons in the NFL, Tyler missed 40 games. His 2016 season started with him on the shelf an ankle injury that occurred in late May. His slow recovery from surgery led to him missing the first six games of the season. After short snaps in Week 7 (one catch for nine yards on two targets), Eifert showed dominating upside the next week vs. the Redskins (9/102/1 on 12 targets). He scored four TDs over his next six games with only 19 catches for 283 yards on 33 targets. A back injury cost him the last two games of 2016. He had surgery twice over the last year to correct his back issue. In 2017, Eifert was only on the field for two games (1/4 and 3/42). The Bengals respected his talent enough to sign him to a $5.5 million contract in March, so they believe he’ll offer something this season. Tough call here. I get the talent, which he showcased in 2015 (52/615/13), but he comes with injury risk. As long as his price point is free (after round 12), there is no real downside in taking him as your TE2. For now, Fantasy owners need a lot of more info before making a fair judgment on his value in 2018. I’ll avoid in the early draft season until I see him on the field.

RB Theo Riddick– Over the last two seasons, the Lions gave Riddick 282 combined touches. He’s been boring in the run game in his career (3.4 yards per rush) while offering value in the passing game. In 2015, Theo caught 80 of his 99 targets for 697 yards and three TDs. His opportunity faded to 53 catches in each of the last two seasons while averaging 5.3 targets per game. Riddick did miss six games in 2016 while being on pace for another 80-catch season. The positive by signing Blount and drafting Johnson will be a cleaner role as a pass-catching back with minimal value on early downs. Theo has upside in catches, and Matt Stafford will throw to the RB position. Possible 80+ catches with Ameer Abdullah expecting to be less of a threat on third downs.

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WR Equanimeous St. Brown– Over the last two years, St. Brown caught 91 passes for 1,476 yards and 13 TDs. His game is built more to use the middle of the field on crossing routes while showing the ability to play out of the slot or on the outside. His stats look boring in college, but he didn’t have the best talent throwing him the ball. Equanimeous needs to improve his route running and his in-game motor. His release and strength him a chance to surprise in the right role in his rookie season.

QB DeShone Kizer – Over two seasons at Notre Dame, Kizer threw for 5,805 yards with 47 TDs and 19 Ints. His completion rate (60.7) didn’t offer an edge, and he had a regression in his junior season (58.7). DeShone was active as a runner (264/997/18), which adds a dimension to his game that the other two QBs don’t have. He made a lot of tight throws in college downfield with flashing a solid pump fake. In his rookie season, Kizer 0-15 with 2,894 yards with 11 TDs and 22 Ints. His legs offered upside (77/419/5). The bottom line with DeShone was his decision making in the red zone. His timing and decision making was late on too many plays leading to the huge total in Ints. A couple of seasons behind Aaron Rodgers will help improve his overall game.

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RB C.J. Prosise– Prosise has one season of value on his college resume. In 2015 at Notre Dame, C.J. rushed for 1,029 yards on 157 carries with 11 TDs. He averaged 6.6 yards per rush. Prosise had 26 catches for 308 yards and a TD as well. In 2014 as a WR, he caught 29 passes for 516 yards with two TDs. C.J. has the size (6’0” and 220 lbs.) to add value in pass protection, but his lack of experience leads to misreads and mistakes. Prosise runs with vision and patience, but he needs to take what the defense gives him if a hole isn’t open after the snap. Prosise flashed in two games in 2016 (Week 8 – 103 combined with four catches and Week 10 – 153 combined yards and seven catches). C.J. was well onto another big game in Week 11 (4/76/1), but he suffered a broken bone in his shoulder ending his season. 2017 ended up being a wasted season after suffering a left ankle injury early in the year. Last season he had 110 combined yards with six catches on 17 touches. Durability remains a considerable concern, but Prosise does have upside in the passing game. I don’t view him as a handcuff to Rashaad Penny.

WR T.J. Jones– Jones was expected to be a perfect fit for the Lions’ offense. He is a slot receiver with excellent route running skills and hands. In his senior season at Notre Dame, he caught 70 passes for 1,108 yards and nine TDs. He has NFL average WR speed with solid quickness. The Lions drafted him in the sixth round in 2014. He missed all of 2014 season with a lingering shoulder issue. T.J. caught ten passes for 132 yards and a TD on 18 targets in his second year in the league with a shorter opportunity in 2016 (5/93). T.J. started to have a pulse last year (30/399/1 on 49 targets, but he did have shoulder surgery in January.

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